Cutthroat Pond

Dave Westburg

WFF Supporter
Greg Armstrong and I took bamboo fly rods to a west side cutthroat pond today. There was snow on the ridge top above the pond. The air was colder than the water. Greg fished an 8' Homer Jennings 5 weight with honey colored cane. I fished a Granger 9050.
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A slow morning but things turned up when we put on fry imitations and started stripping them among the deadfalls and downed timber. I fished a size 8 Silver March Brown. Greg fished a muddler.

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We landed 7 fish for the day. Caught a bleeder which inhaled my fry pattern so decided to keep it for dinner. It's in the oven baking with lemon and parsley.

The fish had egg skeins. I thought cutts were spring spawners. You figure. This is a stocked pond with little natural spawning habitat so maybe the fish couldn't spawn and didn't ingest the eggs. Need one of you fish biologists to weigh in.

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Awesome report! Thanks for sharing!

I'm honestly curious why the bamboo is significant? I have an EF Payne (made for A&F) circa 1920's that I will likely never fish (after finding out the value of the rod). I also have a (likely) cheaply made bamboo that my grandparents neighbor gave me when I was 12 that I stripped completely (many weeks with an expensive razor blade), re-wrapped, and then re-varnished that looks dang slick now. I have fished the cheap one, and cast the expensive one, and felt both to be bulky, heavy, and not enjoyable. Cast's fine, just clunky, heavy, and can't see myself fishing them. As a side note, I do really enjoy the few "new age" fiberglass rods that I own, so I do like the slow action.

I am just curious what the intrigue of bamboo is, and how that relates to making that the focus of the trip? I do absolutely love the flies, and maybe that's where it lies. I really enjoy catching fish on classic flies, flies from our past. So it could be just fishing with tools from our heritage, but enjoyability factor for me and bamboo is a 2/10. Personal preference, not knocking anyone.

Again, not trying to be rude, would actually really like to hear your thoughts on this.

Dave Westburg

WFF Supporter
Awesome report! Thanks for sharing!

I am just curious what the intrigue of bamboo is, and how that relates to making that the focus of the trip?... So it could be just fishing with tools from our heritage, but enjoyability factor for me and bamboo is a 2/10. Personal preference, not knocking anyone.

A thoughtful post James. Bamboo isn't for everyone. I disliked my first bamboo rod but that might have been because I was younger with a faster casting stroke or because I didn't like the taper.

Bamboo's slower casting stroke suits by 62 year old style much better than the stiff modern graphite rods. I've loved the fiberglass rods I've cast for the same reason.

Not every bamboo rod is heavy or clunky or slow. I fish a 10' 6 weight orvis graphite rod in salt water. It weighs 5 ounces which is the same as the 9 foot grangers that I use on lakes. I can fish them all day. The bamboo guys on this site have a castaround once a year. Come join us the next time we do. Some of the rods are a revelation.

You've got it right when you say it relates to our heritage. I like knowing my rods were designed by Goodwin Granger or Bill Phillipson. I love the rich dark finish. Same goes with using classic old flies. Same goes with old perrine or wheatley fly boxes or leather fly wallets. Same goes for classic pflueger reels.

I have a brisk little 7' Bamboo Tom Fulk 5 weight. Tom designed and named it for a certain stream high in the mountains in Western Washington. I fish the stream once a year with Tom's Rod. It's a rich experience.


Active Member
@Dave Westburg. Your above described Bamboo experience opens the eyes to a time and place within reach of recreating today. Having never touched a Bamboo fly rod, all of a sudden I have an interest to give er a go.

Curious what time period is a Perrine or Wheatley fly box? I have a few older fly boxes that came in a box with a leather fly wallet. I now wonder if either or both fly boxes are either brand? Maybe you would know? Wood one is hinged and opens like a book. Each half has a wood door that when slid reveals hidden fly bugs under each side. Probably an inch thick fly box. Box is full of flies, that I assume to be from same vintage as fly box.

Other fly storage is round, thin, made of aluminum storage with a half hinged lid. About the size of a hocky puck if cut in half along thin side.

Also in that shoe box was a aluminum worm container with spring loaded lid that pinchen on a fisherpersons belt. Size similar to a soda can cut in half.

Either fly box or tin sound like a Perrine or Wheatly?

Greg Armstrong

WFF Supporter
@MotoBoat Just a guess here?... Your “round, thin aluminum with the half hinged lid” sounds like a leader gut storage tin. They were used to store silkworm gut leaders in a “damp” state to avoid them from becoming brittle. Gut was used as leader material prior to the development of nylon and monofilament tapered leaders. It’s a cool item from the past.

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